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The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Police believe that a missing Georgia teen who recently ran away from her Hall County home may have fled to South Carolina, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  According to WYFF-TV, investigators are searching for Brooklynn McKenzie Rivera, 14, who is possibly in Greenville, South Carolina, with 23-year-old Gregory Austin Cline, the Hall County Sheriff's Office said in a Facebook post last week. Rivera and Cline may be traveling 'in a gray 1998 Honda Accord' with license plate No. 4607MW, the Facebook post said. Authorities described Rivera as 5-foot-1 with hazel eyes and brown hair. She weighs about 126 pounds, deputies said. If you know where Rivera is, call the Sheriff's Office at 770-533-7187. Read more here or here.
  • The wife of a Georgia police chief was one of three people arrested last week when narcotics agents seized about $6,500 worth of heroin and methamphetamine from a Gainesville home, authorities said. >> Read more trending news  Samantha Sheri Spillers, the wife of Flowery Branch police Chief David Spillers, has been in the Hall County jail since her Nov. 7 arrest on a heroin possession charge, authorities said.  The bust was organized by Hall County’s Multi-Agency Narcotics Squad at the home of Albert Lee Scott and Samantha Ann Shugrue in the 2000 block of Ridgeway Drive, police said last week.  Inside the home, agents discovered about 20 grams of heroin packaged in multiple bags, approximately 5 grams of meth, four Xanax pills, two firearms and $3,000 in cash. Scales, syringes and ledgers to keep track of the alleged drug sales were also seized, according to police. “Many families have been impacted by addiction and, unfortunately, Chief Spillers has been placed in the difficult position of dealing with his wife’s sickness,” Flowery Branch City Manager Bill Andrew wrote in an emailed statement to AJC.com. “I have been aware of this situation and have determined it has not been an impediment to Mr. Spiller’s performance as Chief of Police.” According to the city, David Spillers joined the department in the summer of 2006. He was promoted to police chief in July 2012.  Samantha Spillers, Scott and Shugrue all remain held at the Hall County jail.  Shugrue is the only defendant who has been given bond, records show. She is eligible for release if she can come up with $4,600. 
  • A Maryland murder suspect is behind bars after police said he stabbed and killed a man who cut in line outside a Popeyes restaurant last week. >> Read more trending news  According to WUSA-TV, Ricoh McClain, 30, was arrested on charges of first- and second-degree murder, first- and second-degree assault and reckless endangerment in the Nov. 4 stabbing death of Kevin Tyrell Davis, Prince George's County police said early Thursday. Investigators said the men began to argue as they waited to order chicken sandwiches from the Oxon Hill fast-food restaurant, WTOP reported. Investigators said Davis, 28, skipped ahead of other customers in the 15-minute line, angering McClain, according to WUSA. 'They both then got out of the line, walked out of the front door together, and McClain immediately stabbed Davis,' the Police Department said in Facebook post Tuesday afternoon. 'McClain then fled from the area.' First responders rushed Davis to a nearby hospital, where he died, WUSA reported. Police also questioned a woman who was at the restaurant with McClain, but she is not facing any charges, according to WTOP. Read more here or here.
  • After five days of testimony, an Osceola County jury has recommended the death penalty for Everett Miller, the man convicted in the 2017 killings of two Kissimmee Police officers. The 12 jurors began deliberating Wednesday morning. They came back with their recommendation of death at 4:30 p.m. about six hours later.  Marine veteran Everett Miller was convicted of killing Officer Matthew Baxter and Sgt. Sam Howard in September.  The same jury of 12 that convicted Miller in September, made the death sentence recommendation Wednesday.  In the state of Florida, a jury must be unanimous in its decision of death.  During deliberations Wednesday, one juror had a question and asked for some time alone. When the judge asked the juror to be more specific, they said 'I would like time to pray.
  • Jimmy Carter’s pastor said the former president is “in good spirits” just one day after undergoing brain surgery. >> Read more trending news The Rev. Tony Lowden, pastor of Maranatha Baptist Church in Plains, Georgia, was in Atlanta on Wednesday visiting Carter at Emory University Hospital. “His spirits are good, and he is up and walking,” Lowden said. Carter was admitted to the hospital on Monday to deal with bleeding near his brain, caused by a series of falls over the past few weeks. Carter was diagnosed with a subdural hematoma and was operated on early Tuesday morning to relieve pressure on his brain. A spokeswoman for Carter said there were no complications from the procedure, but wouldn’t give a timetable on his release. He “will remain in the hospital as long as advisable for observation,” said Deanna Congileo on Tuesday. Lowden drove to Atlanta on Wednesday with dozens of well wishes from the president’s boyhood home of Plains and his home church, Maranatha. “Everyone is praying and concerned about him and making sure that he is OK,” Lowden said. Young visited their church on Sunday to teach Sunday School with Carter. Lowden said he expects to field at least one question from Carter: When can he return to teaching Sunday School? Carter has been teaching Sunday School regularly at Maranatha for 40 years. After he broke his hip in May and fractured his pelvis in October, Carter missed both of his immediately scheduled classes, but quickly made them up the following Sundays. “I am going to tell him that we have everything in order at the church, and he doesn’t have to worry about anything,” Lowden said. “There is no need to rush.”

Washington Insider

  • The first day of impeachment hearings against President Donald Trump included new evidence from the acting U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, who told lawmakers that one of his aides had listened to a top U.S. diplomat speak with the President, reporting that Mr. Trump had inquired repeatedly about political investigations he was seeking. William Taylor told the House Intelligence Committee that since his recent deposition in October, one of his staffers had reported the unsecured cell phone call between U.S. Ambassador to the European Union Gordon Sondland and the President, saying the message was clear. 'President Trump cares more about the investigation of Biden, that Giuliani was pressing for,' Taylor told the first day of impeachment hearings. At the White House, the President denied the assertion by Taylor, telling reporters he did not remember any such call with Sondland, which Taylor said occurred a day after a July 25 phone call with the leader of Ukraine, where the President asked for Ukraine to start certain political investigations. In the hearing, Taylor and State Department official George Kent repeatedly found themselves trying to walk an almost impossible tightrope of being a truth-telling non-partisan diplomat, thrust into the midst of a politically explosive impeachment hearing, in which their every answer could be used by one party or the other to buttress or undermine their impeachment arugments. 'I'm not here to do anything having to do with, to decide about impeachment.' Taylor said at one point to Rep. John Ratcliffe (R-TX). 'That is not what either of us are here to do. This is your job.' But Republicans tried to use the first hearing to undermine the testimony of both Taylor and Kent, repeatedly saying that they had no first hand knowledge of what President Trump was doing. 'Not only no conversations with the President of the United States about Ukraine, you've not had any contact with the President,' said Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH). 'Correct?' In a back and forth with Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), Taylor tried to keep a smile on his face as Jordan described Taylor as the supposedly prime witness for Democrats out to get President Trump. 'I don't consider myself a star witness for anything,' Taylor said. 'They do,' Jordan said of Democrats. While Ambassador Taylor dominated most of the headlines, Kent also provided some news, as he made clear that he felt the naming of Hunter Biden - the son of the former Vice President - to the board of a Ukrainian energy company, was a red flag which needed to be watched. But under questioning, Kent said he never found any evidence that it led to corruption - or anything illegal involving the younger Biden. Both Kent and Taylor raised questions about the President's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, as Taylor frowned on what he described as an 'irregular' diplomatic back channel in Ukraine led by Giuliani. 'What interest do you believe he was promoting?' asked Rep. Val Demings (D-FL). 'I believe he was looking to dig up political dirt against a potential rival in the next election cycle,” Kent said. “I agree with Mr. Kent,” Taylor added, as the two officials reinforced the suspicions of Democrats that Giuliani was leading an effort which not only unseated the U.S. Ambassador, but led to the President pressing Ukraine for investigations of the Bidens, and of Ukraine interference in the 2016 elections. Asked about the question of Ukraine interference, Kent said there was 'no factual basis,' pointing the finger directly at Russia - as U.S. Intelligence agencies have done. There likely will be more discussion of Giuliani's role in Ukraine in the next hearing on Friday, when lawmakers hear from the ousted U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch. Kent testified there was a campaign of 'slander' against Yovanovitch, which began March 20, 2018.